Bruises, those unsightly blue and purple marks, can be pretty painful and linger longer than we’d like. With the vast world of natural remedies, it’s no surprise that essential oils have emerged as potent solutions for speeding up the healing process of bruises. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the top 15 essential oils for bruises, providing detailed insights into their properties and uses.
A Deeper Look at Bruises
Bruises, scientifically known as contusions, form when blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin break due to trauma. This rupture causes blood to pool beneath the skin’s surface, leading to discolouration. As the body heals, the bruise transforms from reddish to blue or purple, then to green or yellow, before fading away.
Causes of Bruises
Bruising, medically known as a contusion, is a skin discolouration that occurs due to the breakage of tiny blood vessels leaking under the skin. The trapped blood may cause a bruise that initially appears as a black-blue mark and then changes colour as it heals. The leading causes of bruises include:
- Physical Trauma: A blunt impact or injury, such as bumping into furniture or getting hit.
- Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like leukaemia, haemophilia, or vitamin C and K deficiencies can make an individual more susceptible to bruising.
- Medications & Supplements: Some medications, such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can increase the risk of bruising. Dietary supplements like fish oil and ginkgo can also increase the likelihood.
- Ageing: As we age, our skin becomes thinner and loses some of the protective fatty layers that cushion the blood vessels from injury.
- Excessive Straining: Activities that involve heavy lifting or straining can cause blood vessels to burst and result in bruises.
- Allergic Reactions: Rarely, bruising may be a reaction to an allergen.
- Injections: Medical treatments like vaccinations or cosmetic procedures can lead to bruising in the injection area.
- Sun Damage: Overexposure to the sun can weaken blood vessels, making bruising more likely.
- Genetics: Some individuals may naturally bruise more quickly due to inherited characteristics.
Symptoms of Bruises
Bruises are typically easy to recognize, appearing as a patch of discoloured skin. Here are the stages and symptoms of a bruise:
- Initial Appearance: Shortly after a trauma, the affected area might appear red or purplish due to fresh blood pooling under the skin.
- Dark Blue or Purple: Within 24 hours, the bruise typically darkens to a blue or purple hue.
- Colour Changes: Over the next few days, the body starts to break down and reabsorb the blood. As this happens, the bruise may turn a greenish colour and eventually a yellowish-brown before fading completely.
- Swelling & Pain: The affected area might be tender to touch and can be slightly swollen immediately after the injury.
- Hard Lump: Sometimes, you might feel a lump in the bruise, which is blood that has pooled together and clotted. Over time, this lump will be reabsorbed by the body.
- Size and Shape: Depending on the impact’s force, a bruise can be tiny, like a dot or as large as an adult’s hand. It can be round, oval, or even irregularly shaped.
- Location: While bruises can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common on the arms and legs.
Why Turn to Essential Oils for Bruises?
Essential oils have been lauded for their potent healing and therapeutic properties for centuries. For bruises, specific oils have properties that can:
- Increase blood circulation
- Reduce inflammation
- Accelerate the healing process.
- Alleviate pain
The Top 15 Essential Oils for Bruises Detailed
1. Helichrysum Oil
- Description: Helichrysum oil is a marvel of nature derived from the helichrysum flower. Its aroma is rich and earthy.
- Benefits: Among its plethora of benefits, it’s known to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which can aid in reducing swelling. The oil also rejuvenates the skin, reducing discolouration.
- Application: Blend a few drops with carrier oil and gently apply to the bruise twice daily.
2. Lavender Oil
- Description: With its unmistakably calming scent, lavender oil is extracted from the lovely purple lavender blossoms.
- Benefits: It’s a powerhouse when it comes to reducing inflammation. It also improves blood flow, ensuring healing nutrients reach the bruised area faster.
- Application: Dilute with a carrier oil and massage the affected area gently.
3. Frankincense Oil
- Description: From the Boswellia tree’s resin, frankincense oil boasts a warm, spicy aroma.
- Benefits: It promotes overall skin health and is particularly potent in reducing skin discolouration—a godsend for bruises.
- Application: Blend with a carrier oil and apply twice daily.
4. Geranium Oil
- Description: Extracted from the geranium plant, it offers a delightful floral scent.
- Benefits: Beyond its pleasant aroma, geranium oil is heralded for its ability to stimulate circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote skin healing.
- Application: Mix with a carrier oil and massage gently onto the bruise.
5. Rosemary Oil
- Description: With a refreshing herbal aroma, rosemary oil is derived from the fragrant herb.
- Benefits: It’s known to be a circulation booster, ensuring the bruised area receives ample blood flow. Plus, its analgesic properties can alleviate pain.
- Application: Blend with a carrier oil and apply to the bruise, massaging softly.
6. Cypress Oil
- Description: Hailing from the cypress tree, its aroma is a refreshing mix of woody and slightly spicy notes.
- Benefits: Cypress oil enhances circulation and reduces swelling, making it a solid choice for bruise treatment.
- Application: Dilute with a preferred carrier oil and apply to the affected area.
7. Arnica Oil
- Description: Derived from the arnica Montana flower, this oil has a faint herbal aroma and is rich in colour and potency.
- Benefits: Recognized for its superior anti-inflammatory properties, arnica oil is often the first choice for treating sports injuries. It reduces swelling and can decrease pain, making it ideal for bruised skin.
- Application: Arnica oil can be directly applied to the affected area, but mixing with a carrier oil is recommended for those with sensitive skin.
8. Myrrh Oil
- Description: This age-old essential oil comes from the resin of the myrrh tree and carries a warm, earthy scent with it.
- Benefits: Renowned for rejuvenating the skin, myrrh oil can help reduce bruises’ blue and purple discolourations. Moreover, its analgesic properties can alleviate pain.
- Application: Dilute a few drops in carrier oil and massage gently onto the bruised area.
9. Yarrow Oil
- Description: Yarrow oil is sourced from the yarrow plant and boasts a sweet and slightly spicy aroma.
- Benefits: Yarrow oil excels at improving blood circulation, facilitating quicker healing. Its anti-inflammatory effects can also aid in swelling reduction.
- Application: Mix with a preferred carrier oil and dab onto the bruise.
10. Chamomile Oil
- Description: This oil has a calming and sweet aroma derived from the chamomile flower.
- Benefits: Recognized for its skin-soothing properties, chamomile oil is excellent for reducing the redness and irritation around bruises. It’s also a mild analgesic.
- Application: Blend with a carrier oil and gently apply to the affected area.
11. Parsley Oil
- Description: Extracted from the parsley plant, its scent is herbaceous and fresh.
- Benefits: Parsley oil has been traditionally used for its detoxifying properties. It can help speed up the process of removing pooled blood under the skin of the bruise.
- Application: Mix with a carrier oil and massage softly onto the bruise.
12. Turmeric Oil
- Description: This vibrant yellow oil is derived from the turmeric root, known for its robust, earthy and spicy scent.
- Benefits: Turmeric oil possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling. Its natural antiseptic properties can prevent potential infections.
- Application: Dilute with a preferred carrier oil and apply, ensuring to wash hands afterwards to avoid staining.
13. Ginger Oil
- Description: Hailing from the ginger root, its aroma is warm and spicy.
- Benefits: Ginger oil can increase blood circulation, which is vital for transporting essential nutrients to the bruise to accelerate healing.
- Application: Mix with a carrier oil and gently massage the bruised area.
14. Tamanu Oil
- Description: Tamanu oil is extracted from the tamanu nut, with a thick consistency and a nutty aroma.
- Benefits: Known for its remarkable skin-regenerating properties, tamanu oil can hasten the healing process, reduce discolouration, and soothe pain.
- Application: This oil is generally thicker; blending with another carrier oil can help its application. Apply to the bruise area gently.
15. Blue Tansy Oil
- Description: Originating from the blue tansy flower, this oil is characterized by its deep blue colour and sweet, camphor-like scent.
- Benefits: It offers anti-inflammatory properties that can diminish swelling. It’s also known to soothe irritated skin.
- Application: Given its intense colour, dilution with carrier oil is vital. Once mixed, apply gently to the bruise.
DIY Essential Oil Recipes for Bruises:
When blending essential oils, always remember to dilute them with a suitable carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil to ensure safe application on the skin.
1. Soothing Lavender & Helichrysum Blend:
- Five drops of Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops Helichrysum essential oil
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Mix the essential oils with the coconut oil thoroughly and store them in a dark glass container. Apply to the bruised area 2-3 times a day, gently massaging it in.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Arnica & Chamomile Mix:
- Four drops of Chamomile essential oil
- Four drops of Arnica oil (often available infused in a carrier oil)
- 1 tbsp Jojoba oil
Instructions: Blend all the ingredients and store them in a cool, dark place. Gently massage the bruised area once or twice daily.
3. Circulation-Boosting Blend:
- Four drops of Cypress essential oil
- Four drops of Rosemary essential oil
- 2 tbsp Almond oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Combine the essential oils with the almond oil and store them in a dark container. Apply to the affected area to boost circulation, promoting faster healing.
4. Cooling Peppermint Blend:
- 6 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 2 tbsp Jojoba oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Mix the peppermint essential oil with jojoba oil and store it in a cool place. Apply to the bruise for a cooling sensation, which can help reduce pain.
5. Deep Healing Frankincense Blend:
- Four drops of Frankincense essential oil
- Four drops of Myrrh essential oil
- 2 tbsp Grapeseed oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Combine the essential oils with grapeseed oil in a glass container. Massage gently onto the bruised area 2-3 times daily. Both frankincense and myrrh have ancient reputations for promoting skin healing.
6. Lemon & Geranium Brightening Blend:
- Five drops of Lemon essential oil
- Four drops of Geranium essential oil
- 2 tbsp Sweet almond oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Blend all the ingredients and store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. Apply to the bruise gently. Lemon can help brighten the skin, while geranium boosts circulation.
7. Herbal Relief Blend:
- 3 drops Lavender essential oil
- 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- Three drops of Tea tree essential oil
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Mix the essential oils with the olive oil thoroughly and store them in a glass container. Apply to the bruised area a couple of times a day. This blend offers antibacterial properties along with a calming, cooling sensation.
8. Spicy Warmth Blend for Pain Relief:
- Four drops of Ginger essential oil
- 4 drops Black pepper essential oil
- 2 tbsp Jojoba oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Combine the ingredients and store them in a dark, cool place. Massage gently onto the bruise, particularly when experiencing pain. This blend creates a warming sensation, which can alleviate discomfort.
9. Skin Repairing Yarrow & Tarragon Blend:
- Four drops of Yarrow essential oil
- Four drops of Tarragon essential oil
- 2 tbsp Avocado oil (as a carrier oil)
Instructions: Blend the oils and keep them in a glass container. Apply to the bruise 2-3 times daily. This blend aids in skin repair and also helps in reducing inflammation.
Precautions and Considerations When Using Essential Oils for Bruises
While essential oils can be incredibly beneficial for various ailments, including bruises, it’s imperative to approach their use with care. Here’s a rundown of the critical precautions and considerations you should keep in mind:
- Patch Test: Before applying any essential oil blend to a larger or sensitive area, always conduct a patch test on a small section of skin to ensure no allergic reactions occur.
- Dilution: Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent. To avoid skin irritations, always dilute them with a suitable carrier oil. Common carrier oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil, among others.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight: Some essential oils, especially citrus-based ones like lemon, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. After applying these oils, wait for a few hours before exposing the skin to direct sunlight to prevent any reactions or burns.
- Internal Consumption: Never consume essential oils internally unless under the direct supervision of a certified professional or healthcare provider. Ingesting essential oils can lead to poisoning or adverse reactions.
- Children and Pets: Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Some oils can be harmful or toxic if ingested or applied to the skin in undiluted form.
- Pregnancy and Nursing: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils. Some oils might not be suitable during these times.
- Eye Safety: Avoid getting essential oils in the eyes. If this happens, don’t rub your eyes and rinse them immediately with cold water. If irritation persists, seek medical attention.
- Storage: Store essential oils in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. This ensures that the oils remain potent and don’t degrade in quality.
- Existing Medical Conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are on medication, consult with a healthcare provider or a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils.
- Duration of Use: For bruises, essential oils are typically used as a short-term remedy. If you find yourself needing to use the oil for an extended period, it’s wise to consult a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues.
- Quality Matters: Always use therapeutic-grade essential oils that are 100% pure. Cheaper, low-quality oils can sometimes be adulterated with synthetic compounds that can be harmful.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Using Essential Oils for Bruises
Can I apply essential oils directly to my bruise?
No, essential oils are potent and should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. Direct application can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
How often should I apply essential oil blends to my bruise?
Typically, you can apply 2-3 times a day, but always observe how your skin reacts and adjust accordingly.
When should I start seeing results?
Depending on the severity of the bruise and your skin type, you might begin to notice a reduction in pain and discolouration within a few days of consistent use. However, remember that essential oils aid in the natural healing process and may not provide instant results.
Are there any essential oils I should avoid for bruises?
While most essential oils beneficial for bruises are safe, it’s essential to ensure you aren’t allergic to any. Also, avoid oils that increase photosensitivity (like citrus oils) if you’re planning to expose the bruised area to sunlight.
Can I use multiple essential oils together?
Yes, many of the recipes provided combine multiple oils to utilize various therapeutic properties. However, always ensure you’re within recommended dilution ratios.
I have sensitive skin. Can I still use essential oils for my bruise?
If you have sensitive skin, always conduct a patch test first. Opt for oils known for their gentle properties, like lavender or chamomile, and use a mild carrier oil like jojoba.
Can I use essential oils on my children’s bruises?
Yes, but use a more diluted blend for children. For instance, use half the amount of essential oil recommended in the recipes. Always consult with a paediatrician before applying essential oils to children.
How long can I store my essential oil blends?
Depending on the carrier oil used, most blends can be stored for up to 6 months to a year if kept in a cool, dark place. Always check the carrier oil’s expiration date as a guideline.
Are there any alternatives to the carrier oils mentioned in the recipes?
Yes, there are many carrier oils available. Apart from the ones mentioned, you can also use apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, or hemp seed oil, among others. Choose one that suits your skin type and availability.
I accidentally ingested some essential oil. What should I do?
If you or someone else ingests essential oil, seek medical attention immediately. While small amounts might not be harmful, it’s always safer to consult with a healthcare professional.
Conclusion for essential oils for bruises article
Essential oils, with their myriad therapeutic properties, have been a cornerstone in natural remedies for centuries. When it comes to bruises, the right blend can accelerate healing, reduce discomfort, and mitigate discolouration. However, as with all-natural treatments, patience and consistent application are key. By understanding the properties of each oil and using them responsibly, you can harness nature’s power to aid in recovery and promote overall skin health.
Disclaimer for essential oils for bruises article
- The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
- Always consult with a healthcare professional or certified aromatherapist before starting any new treatment or therapy.
- Conduct a patch test before using any essential oil to ensure no allergic reactions occur.
- While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the author and the website cannot be held responsible for any adverse reactions or consequences resulting from the use of the oils mentioned.
- The use of essential oils should not replace standard medical practices and treatments.
- Always source high-quality, 100% pure essential oils from reputable suppliers.
- Keep essential oils out of the reach of children and pets.
- If any signs of irritation or adverse reactions occur, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention.